Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:00
By now, I am certain you have all heard of Common Core. Though the intent may have been good, the resulting standards and implementation have been a complete debacle.
At no time were early education or developmental specialists consulted in designing the standards. Special needs children have been completely forgotten. The result is a set of expectations for our youngest students which are not only developmentally inappropriate, but completely at odds with what we know of cognitive development. Ironically, Jason Zimba, the mathematics standards writer for Common Core, reports that these standards were designed to prepare students for a two year college, and that graduating seniors would be unprepared for a freshman calculus course. How can we consider these standards to be superior if our graduating students will be even less prepared for STEM fields than they are now?
Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Professor James Milgram, the only two educational experts on the validation committee, refused to sign off on the standards, reporting that they would leave our students unprepared for a four year college and make advancement in the STEM fields virtually impossible.
Finally, the data collection associated with the standards is a blatant violation of privacy. Aside from academic history and test scores, more sensitive information is being collected, such as behavioral or disciplinary actions at school, medical or psychological diagnoses, and family marital status. This information may be shared with third party vendors at the discretion of the district and state, under the guise of development of educational materials.
FERPA and HIPAA laws were modified to prevent parents from blocking such data collection. Although I am vehemently opposed to my daughter’s personal and private information being collected and shared, I have no rights to prevent this.I urge you to read this petition and sign to put a halt to common core and get our educational system back on track. Please step up for our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, and put an end to this. The link for the petition is www.fixnyschools.com.
Sam B. Myers
Saturday, 26 July 2014 00:00
A clown named Renaldo performed magic tricks for an enthusiastic audience as part of the National Circus Project, which visited Levittown Public Library on Wednesday, July 16.
All 150 tickets available for the performance were sold out in this interactive magic show for children. Throughout the entire circus act, children laughed and raised their hands as high as they could to be chosen as one of Renaldo’s helpers.
Raising her hand to participate was three-year-old Kirsten Cantwell from Seaford. “She was upset that she didn’t get picked,” said her mother Melissa Cantwell.
Kirsten Cantwell goes to any activity offered at the library, and is starting to enjoy watching magic shows. According to her mother, she really enjoyed the performance.
In the circus show, National Circus Project performer, Al Calienes, acted as Renaldo the clown.
“The show has different components of acts in the circus,” explained Calienes. “We teach children circus moves.”
With the National Circus Project, children get to see magic tricks performed live. “We infuse enthusiasm by showing them, and they in turn will be able to repeat the process,” said Calienes.
Renaldo performed plate spinning, where he spun a plate on a stick and passed it along to the stick of one of his helpers from the audience, who then passed the plate down a line of three more helpers. This interactive way of teaching the children magic tricks really allows them to absorb what they are learning.
The National Circus Project travels and performs for elementary schools, as well as middle and high schools. When the National Circus Project is not going to schools, they perform at library shows, summer camps, and other types of events.
The performance entertains the adults as well as the children. “We involve everybody,” said Calienes. “Everybody’s engaged on some level or another. “
At every library performance, Calienes donates the children’s book he wrote and illustrated Renaldo Joins the Circus to the library. He feels that he owes a lot to the library system. “Anything that ever meant anything to me I learned in the library,” said Calienes.
Calienes learned how to draw from the library, which is how he became a commercial artist. One of the main characters he would always draw would be Renaldo the clown. “I wanted to make him real so I joined the circus,” he said.
Calienes has been performing with the National Circus Project for seven years and has been in the circus business going on 26 years.
The National Circus Project brings magic to children at any school, camp or library all over Long Island as well as across the country.
Friday, 25 July 2014 00:00
Last June, Nassau County passed legislation that allows for the deployment of a speed enforcement camera system in school zones for each of the 56 public school districts in the county.
The new systems will be implemented throughout the county on July 25, and will be operational on scheduled school days throughout the year.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Levittown’s Division Avenue High School varsity baseball team, under the direction of coach Tom Tuttle, won the Class A County Championship, garnering a third-place ranking in New York State. This is the team’s 13th county championship win and the second county championship for the school in the past four years.
In addition, senior Chris Reilly was named Championship MVP for throwing a complete game shutout in game two and going three for four with two RBIs.
Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
Taylor Traenkle, a junior at Division Avenue High School recently received the MVP award for the Nassau County Varsity Hockey League Association.
Traenkle, who plays no. 9 for the Levittown Ice Falcons, led the way averaging 2.8 points a game with a total of 25 goals and 23 assists in just 17 games.